Epicurean summer fruit and vegetables

Epicurean summer fruit and vegetables

Every fruit and vegetable has a prime time during the year when it is at its seasonal best. Locally grown food means extra flavor and nutrition, and also great value.

Every fruit and vegetable has a prime time during the year when it is at its seasonal best. Locally grown food means extra flavor and nutrition, and also great value.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

Every fruit and vegetable has a prime time during the year when it is at its seasonal best. Locally grown food means extra flavor and nutrition, and also great value. But depending on your location, some items are at their prime for several months, while others hit their peak for only a short time.

Vegetables that are in ample supply during the summer months include: corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, leeks, lettuces, okra, onions, peppers, potatoes, summer squash and zucchini. Delicious summer fruits include: apples, apricots, grapes, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums and tomatoes.

Visit your local farmers’ market and see what gourmet treasurers they have for you — no matter what time of year it is.

 

Berry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 peach, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation:

Combine fruit. Mix together sour cream, sugar and lemon juice in a separate bowl. Toss fruit with sauce mixture and serve.

 

Lavender-Scented Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 peach, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 nectarine, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 large plum, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon small whole mint leaves

Preparation:

Combine honey, water, lavender, pepper and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until honey has dissolved. Remove from heat, and cover; let steep 10 to 15 minutes or until room temperature. Strain into a serving bowl; discard lavender and stir in lime juice. Add peach, nectarine and plum slices to honey mixture, and toss well. Add berries and mint; toss gently to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled. Serve. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1-1/4 cups).

 

Watermelon, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Vinaigrette ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oi

Salad ingredients:

  • 3 cups watermelon chunks
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped cucumbers
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preparation:

Combine vinegar, salt, pepper and oil; whisk well. Gently toss remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.

 

Feta Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 (1-pound) piece of watermelon (about 1/4 of a small to medium watermelon)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 ounces pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bunch arugula, trimmed and cleaned

Preparation:

Place onion slices in a bowl and cover with lime juice. Set aside. Trim watermelon and slice into thin triangles. Remove onion from lime juice. Add honey, salt and pepper to juice; stir until well blended. Whisk in oil in a steady stream. Layer arugula on platter or divide among 6 plates. Arrange watermelon in overlapping layers on platter or plates. Top with onion, salt, pepper, feta and olives. Drizzle with half of lime juice mixture. Serve remaining juice mixture on the side. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Summer Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold watermelon balls
  • 1 cup cold cantaloupe balls
  • 1 cup cold honeydew balls
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, combine fruit balls. Sprinkle with feta cheese and mint. Stir gently. Serve immediately, before salad becomes watery. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 3, June/July 2014.

 

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